11 ways to be more self-sufficient in the new year

January 11, 2019 by  
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Self-sufficient living is all about providing for your own needs— and the needs of your household— without resources or help from the outside. To become more self-sufficient, you need knowledge and skills, plus motivation and a spirit of independence. The reasons for living a self-sufficient lifestyle can be political, social or personal, but whatever the motivation may be, learning how to become self-sufficient can offer a feeling of security, even in the event of a disaster. There isn’t a handbook for becoming self-sufficient, but once you change your thinking about dependency, there are things you can do to start living life off the grid in the new year. Plant a Garden Not only can you grow your own food and save the seeds for next year, but you can also plant herbs in pots in your windowsill and use them for medicinal purposes or create your own spice blends . Cook From Scratch This goes hand-in-hand with planting a garden. Cooking from scratch instead of pre-packaged meals in plastic or take-out is a big step towards becoming more self-sufficient. Make A Food Storage Plan Gardens are great, and not having to rely on the grocery store to feed your family is a fantastic goal. But, that will mean that you need to have a plan for storing your food. After properly storing the fruit and veggies from your garden in a freezer or cellar, make a plan for acquiring basics like flour, sugar, water, salt and powdered milk. You can do this one week at a time , and after a year, you will have plenty of essentials. Make Natural Cleaners Ditch those store-bought cleaners that are filled with potentially toxic chemicals and instead switch to making your own natural cleaning products . You can also make your own laundry detergent and set up a clothesline or drying rack for your clothes instead of using a dryer. Learn To Sew This is a big one. Back when our grandparents and great-grandparents were young, there was always someone in the family who knew how to sew anything and everything. Not only could they mend their clothing, but they could also make entire outfits instead of buying clothing from the store. But it’s not always about clothing, as you can sew a number of things like blankets, curtains, towels, napkins, wipes and handkerchiefs. Sewing is a skill that is essential for self-sufficient living. Get Out of Debt When you owe people money it’s impossible to become truly self-sufficient. So, cut up those credit cards, make a budget and put together a plan to get out of debt. It’s not easy, but neither is living a self-sufficient life. Drastically cutting your spending to pay off your debts can be a great experience on what it means to live a self-sufficient life. In addition to getting out of debt, stash some cash in a safe place in your home. Having an emergency fund is a huge advantage when unexpected things happen. Start an Emergency Kit Stock up on basic medical supplies like band-aids, gauze, rubbing alcohol and OTC pain meds, but you want to be prepared for more than just medical emergencies. You also can prepare for power outages with an emergency candle kit . Collect Rainwater Having access to your own water source is a big part of becoming self-sufficient. If you don’t have a well, but want to use your own water to take care of your property, set up a rain barrel with a hose to water your garden. Basic Car Maintenance If you don’t know how to change your own oil or replace a flat tire, now is the time to learn if you want to become self-sufficient. Also, washing your car at home instead of taking it to a car wash is another step you can take when you want to rely on yourself instead of outside sources. Start Exercising If you aren’t in good health it’s difficult to be self-sufficient. Eating food from your own garden and cooking from scratch are big steps towards living a healthy life. Once you add exercise into your daily routine, you will become your healthiest self, which makes it much easier to be self-sufficient. Solar Lights and Windmills One of the biggest ways to move towards a life off the grid is to produce your own power. You can install solar lights outside and put up a windmill on your property to help generate the power you need. Via The Real Farmhouse Images via Couleur , FitNishMedia , Shutterstock

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11 ways to be more self-sufficient in the new year

This little light-reflecting robot fills your home with sunlight all day long

August 2, 2017 by  
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Do you wish your home had more natural light ? You’re in luck – Solenica just unveiled a little robot named Caia that bounces sunlight into your home all day long. Caia is extremely easy to use – simply place it in a sunny spot and switch it on. The solar reflector will automatically find the sun and begin flooding your home with daylight. Solenica unveiled their first solar reflector, Lucy, several years ago – and they just unveiled a new and improved version that offers way more options. Caia provides the ultimate in natural illumination , with more accurate sensors and an updated algorithm that redirects sunlight at a wider range of angles. Additionally, the newer model is less expensive to ship. Related: Lucy is a robotic sunlight reflector that brings light into every dark corner of your house According to Solenica CEO and inventor of Caia, the robot is not only a cool solar gadget , but it’s a beneficial tool designed to improve our health, “We’re hardwired to thrive in sunlight. It’s good for us, it makes us feel good. So why wouldn’t we want to spend more time in it? Caia was successfully crowdfunded on Indiegogo last year and will be hitting the market his fall. + Solenica

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This little light-reflecting robot fills your home with sunlight all day long

This interactive woven canopy at MoMA PS1 changes colors as the sun sets

June 30, 2017 by  
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New Yorkers looking for a place to cool off during the summer will do well to duck into Long Island City’s MoMA PS1 – and it’s not just because the museum’s galleries are air-conditioned. A new interactive installation there, called Lumen , is an experience well-worth the trip. Lumen feels like a bright underwater landscape with 250 jellyfish-like tubular structures that interact with light, heat and movement. As the sun sets, colorful solar-powered lights come on, transforming the entire courtyard with an otherworldly vibe. Designed by Jenny Sabin Studio and debuting to the public June 29, Lumen is the winner of The Museum of Modern Arts and MoMA PS1’s 18th edition of the Young Architects Program and will serve as the setting for the 20th season of the Warm Up outdoor concert series this summer. The project integrates various disciplines, including biology, materials science, mathematics, engineering and design, to produce an artistic micro-climate that is both environmentally responsive and beautiful. The canopy is made of over 1,000,000 yards of digitally knitted and robotically woven fiber. During the day, the sun shines through the gaps in the canopy’s fabric to create murals of light and shadows against the concrete walls.Because the design requirements called for shade, water and seating, a responsive water system was incorporated into the hanging fabric tubes. Called stalactites, the tubes spray a fine mist when bodies draw near. In addition, 100 recycled spool stools (also robotically woven) provide a place to rest tired feet after a day roaming through the galleries, meeting another criteria that designs incorporate sustainability and recycling in its elements. The recycled fabric absorbs solar power over the course of the day and then emits it at night. Related: MoMA PS1 unveils futuristic solar canopy that reacts to heat, sunlight, and movement Lumen appeals to the senses; the soft white fabric is juxtaposed against the hard wooden seats and floors engraved with white geometric patterns. The installation invites visitors to play among the hanging fabric as water hits their skin. Lumen exudes both weightlessness and levity as the canopy sways in the breeze during the day and then almost an eeriness when it morphs into a photoluminescent wonderland. Once the Warm Up music series kicks off July 1, custom lighting incorporated into the installation’s design will complement the shows to provide both a visual and aural experience. All of which should make for one vibrant summer. Lumen will be on view at MoMA PS1’s courtyard from June 29 though August 27. + Jenny Sabin Studio All images by Dorkys Ramos for Inhabitat

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This interactive woven canopy at MoMA PS1 changes colors as the sun sets

China’s largest bike share launches air-purifying bicycles for 20 million citizens

June 30, 2017 by  
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In the near future, 20 million people will be able to clean the air as they cycle. To fight air pollution and create a healthier environment for future generations, eco-innovator Daan Roosegaarde just partnered with Chinese bike-sharing giant ofo and leading Chinese design platform TEZIGN to make his smog-free bicycles available to millions of consumers. Roosegaarde’s highly-anticipated Smog Free Bicycles inhale dirty air, clean it, and then release fresh air into the environment. The bicycles work similarly to Roosegaarde’s Smog Free Tower by providing “a healthy and energy-friendly solution for urbanites, combatting both traffic congestion and pollution issues in the city.” Both the Smog Free Tower and the smog-free bicycles are part of Roosegaarde’s larger vision to fill cities with fresh air. At present, the project is being developed in China and the Netherlands. Roosegaarde , a Dutch artist and innovator, first unveiled the concept for a Smog Free Bicycle at a TED talk. It wasn’t long before excitement grew for the innovation, resulting in the progress made thus far. In a statement, Roosegaarde said, “ Beijing used to be an iconic bicycle city. We want to bring back the bicycle as a cultural icon of China and as the next step towards smog free cities.” Related: Daan Roosegaarde’s smog-sucking tower will clean the skies of China The news was announced at a press conference at the World Economic Forum / AMNC17, in Dalian. Further details about the project will be revealed in coming months. There’s still a long way to go to slash pollution and traffic in China, but the Smog Free Bicycle offers a creative approach to the problem. + Studio Roosegaarde Images via Studio Roosegaarde , Pinterest

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China’s largest bike share launches air-purifying bicycles for 20 million citizens

Multi-purpose Solar Light to illuminate dark spaces sustainably

October 28, 2010 by  
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Eco Factor: Concept lamp powered by onboard photovoltaic panels.

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Multi-purpose Solar Light to illuminate dark spaces sustainably

Philips demonstrates solar-powered LED lighting

May 29, 2010 by  
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Eco Factor: Sustainable lighting equipment powered by solar energy. Philips has announced the Philips Cairo to Cape Town Road Show , a two-month trek covering 15 cities, where the company will demonstrate sustainable solar-powered LED lighting that can allow people living in areas without electricity to illuminate their homes

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Philips demonstrates solar-powered LED lighting

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